The 5 pillar foundation, Tickitto's commitment for a bold future

Time to read: 4 minutes

Written by: Dana Lattouf

08/31/2021

Read any startup blog or entrepreneurship textbook and they’ll all agree - building a business is mostly about heads-down focusing on clients’ needs, finding innovative solutions to challenges and - yes, keeping one eye a month or two forward to be sure you’ll make payroll.

But there are times when you can and should take a moment to reflect on where and how you are working because it would be tragic to build a company that sucks to work at.

At Tickitto, we are deeply committed to building a great work environment that attracts the best people, while scaling fast.  And we’re doing this in a way that positively embraces the new organizational reality presented to us in post-COVID world: one where people work where, when and how it works best for them.

We’ve distilled this into 5 pillars which serve as part manifesto and part employee handbook. It continuously reminds us of who we are and who we aspire to be. We hire against these values and they are central to see how someone is performing.

1.  Trust by default, verify by performance

You are fully trusted from day one to self-manage and have complete discretion in deciding how to carry out your work. We care more about what you deliver and achieve than the hours it took you.  However, we treat everything with a sense of urgency and look to ship/deliver things as fast as we possibly can. The greatest asset we have as a scaling startup is time.

We balance this unconditional trust with performance management and feedback. We set quarterly and yearly Objective Key Results and measure performance against what we set out to achieve.  We expect you to take ownership of your work, overcome challenges and complete tasks assigned. High performers are recognised, enabled, and rewarded through bonuses.

We also expect everyone to understand how to give feedback constructively and how to challenge ideas. Similarly, feedback received should not be taken personally rather as an opportunity to develop and grow.

2. Do work that matters

Everyone wants more hours in the day but that is simply impossible regardless of how efficient you are. The aim is to be effective by focusing your time and energy on doing work that matters, work that pushes the needle forward, work that contributes to the overall vision.

This is what productivity is all about to us and we are convinced that this way of operating allows us to take back control of our time and contributes to our overall well being.

We hold ourselves and each other accountable to impact and a high-standard for quality.

In the height of their dominance, the British Track Cycling team were renowned for having a culture of focusing every day on one thing only: Olympic Gold Medals. And their mantra was that if any of their people were doing anything that didn’t directly contribute to that aim, they should stop doing it and re-focus on something that did. We’re as clear on what will make Tickitto great, and we encourage the same perspective.

A great engineer at Tickitto prioritises bug-fixes over new releases. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, new releases built on improper foundations force us to  take on more technical debt than we should. Eventually, we’ll need to take a few steps back and put in significant effort to pay it off.

3. 1% better each day

Einstein is known for saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

We see everyday as a chance to experiment, iterate or try something new. Everyday is an opportunity for us to get just 1% better at something whether personal or work related. The best breakthroughs come from taking an iterative approach rather than a waterfall one.

A great marketer at Tickitto does more of what already is working for their campaign and less of what is not working. The tiny gains made from these changes on a daily basis may not seem impressive or game-changing.  At times, it may even appear as if they are making slower progress. Here’s the simple truth, overtime these tiny gains do not only add up but also compound.

If you start out with £1,000 and increase that by 1% in a day, you’ve made a tenner. Not going to change the world, but every little helps. If you can sustain the 1% increase every day for a month, you’re almost £350 better off. If you can keep going for a year and one week, you break £40,000.  Can you keep it up for two years? You’re just short of £1.5m.

4. Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts

We place a lot of emphasis on working collectively as a team. While each team member has their own responsibilities,  everyone is ultimately aligned on what we are striving toward and the role of the team in getting us there.

To achieve this we champion high-quality and open communication, underpinned by trust and a willingness to embrace creative conflict

Data silos and information asymmetry stifle innovation. 

A great sales development representative at Tickitto shares context and documents information so that everyone is equally empowered to contribute and make the right decision. 

More importantly, an exceptional sales team at Tickitto wins together but also loses together. Mistakes happen and we see those as an opportunity to improve and learn but never blame.

5. Courage

A work environment is only great if the people fight to make it great. even if it’s not your place to speak up, you should have the courage to do or say something if you see or think that we are not living with our values.

Addressing issues head on and in a timely manner allows us to avoid putting out fires later.  At any point in time, you should feel psychologically safe to speak truthfully and openly about problems or your thoughts without fear of reprisal. Do not be afraid to express your opinions even when you disagree with the majority and politely voice your opinion or feedback. Even if it’s the team lead you disagree with. Even if it’s me you think has got something wrong. 

This is our opportunity to grow and smooth out how we work together to build our business.

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